Natural skin care is a trending topic. More and more people are realizing the dangers of chemicals and that they are hiding in every day products. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and the products you put on your skin are very important. It is quite eye opening to read a label and see your beloved face moisturizer is filled with chemicals and parabens that have been found in cancerous tumors. (Yes, that is a scientific proven fact) So what can we do? How can we take care of our bodies in a safe and healthy way? Today I am breaking it down for you with the five ingredients to avoid and the top five all natural ingredients you can use that have incredible benefits to your skin and your overall health.
What to Avoid
Sadly, most products we use everyday are filled with chemicals and pesticides that are slowly breaking down our bodies and causing cancers, many diseases, and hormonal imbalances. How is this allowed you might ask. The regulation of cosmetics is not a difficult process to be approved and passed for commercial use. There are ingredients that are allowed in the US that are illegal in other countries.
Parabens are an issue because they mimic estrogen, and the FDA has acknowledged that several studies have proven that parabens are linked to cancer, breast cancer and disrupting the endocrine system. They have also been shown to affect sperm count and affect reproductive functions, yet they won’t rule it harmful. Look for ingredients that have the suffix paraben as well. Most ingredients will be labeled paraben free if they are, otherwise double check the ingredient’s list.
2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
This chemical has been shown to cause skin irritation, sores, and to effect your skin’s natural oil balance. It also has the ability to make your body’s cells more vulnerable to toxic chemicals by decreasing your skin’s natural resistance to chemicals and toxins. Many labels will read sulfate free. When SLS is heated, like when taking a hot shower, the toxins are released, which is another reason to avoid this in your body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and face wash.
Butylated hydroxyanisole, like I always say if you can’t say it, don’t use it, has been classified by the National Toxicology Program as a human carcinogen. In animal studies it caused liver damage and stomach cancers. It also interferes with thyroid levels and the reproductive system. In Europe, this toxin is labeled unsafe and is not allowed to be used in fragrances.
4. Polyethylene (PEGs)
Whenever you notice the tiny beads in a scrub, they are made from PEGs. They are contaminated with a chemical that the US government has also labeled a human carcinogen. They penetrate into the blood stream and cause harmful affects to your body. They affect the central nervous system, they have been linked to various cancers, and they are laced with heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. Look for PEG-free skin care and beauty products.
What to Use
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is not only a great oil to cook with but it is an amazing oil to use for a natural skin regime. It heals and strengthens the underlying layers of skin, it removes dead skin cells, and it is filed with antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties. It’s protective and restorative for your skin healing you from the inside out.
2. Jojoba Oil
This is the most commonly used carrier oil, but what you might not know are the incredible healing benefits this oil has. It is extremely nourishing and can be used to heal burns, rashes, scars, acne, wrinkles and psoriasis. So then on top of this amazing oil, mix it with a powerful essential oil for your skin and you have an incredible combination that will fit perfect in your new natural skin care lineup.
3. Raw Honey
Raw honey, especially manuka honey, is incredible for managing breakouts, hormonal acne, calming rashes, and reducing the appearance of scars and wrinkles. It is one of the best natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and acids that promote healthy glowing skin. Manuka honey is from New Zealand and is full of anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Because of these properties, it helps keep your skin free from bacteria and speeding up the healing process from acne. It also can decrease redness and inflammation. Whenever you are buying honey make sure you get raw, unfiltered organic honey, because that is honey in it’s purest form.
4. Tea Tree Oil
This oil has been used for many years to relieve inflammation, redness, and the occasional breakout. It is one of the most popular essential oils because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties, but again just like the honey, make sure you buy 100% pure essential oil. Just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean you are getting a good deal. It usually means it is not made from the purest source and therefore might contain ingredients that are harmful to you.
I am sure you have seen a picture of someone with avocado smeared all over their face and before you think they are crazy, here me out on the incredible benefits avocado can have to your skin. This fatty fruit contains vitamins A, D, and E that are able to penetrate the skin and heal from the deepest layers and work their way up. It can boost collagen products and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots giving your skin a more even tone. It is also a great way to combat dry skin with it’s moisturizing properties it will leave you feeling refreshed.